The minimum wage is the lowest amount, set by laws, that employers can pay employees. Minimum wage laws are set throughout every state. Yet, historically, there has been the debate between the pros and cons of having a minimum wage. Critics say it increases poverty, rules out work for the unskilled or inexperienced and hurts businesses that have to raise their costs so that they can afford to pay minimum wage. On the other hand, supporters say it helps the worker’s standard of living, decreases poverty, improves morale and helps to eliminate inequality. Here are the states with fairly good minimum wage laws.
This state has the highest available minimum wage on our list. As the nation’s capital, it is also home to the White House, Congress and many of the world’s most powerful political players. Currently, the minimum wage stands at $11.50 per hour. Although, that may not be enough for workers to live in the nicer parts of town. It is certainly better than $7.25 an hour. Not to mention, with full-time work, it should be enough for food and shelter. Many people in Washington, DC don’t need cars since public transportation is very well organized.
This is America’s largest state by population. At the start of 2016, it raised its minimum wage to $10 an hour. In addition, large California cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles have plans to reach $15 an hour before the rest of the state does. This will give residents a better quality of life and some extra money to go surfing at one of the many beautiful beaches.
This state ties California by offering a current minimum wage of $10 an hour. Although, studies have shown that a full-time worker needs to earn around $12.60 an hour to live here comfortably. Nonetheless, the Bay State has been increasing its minimum wage by $1 every year. The objective is to reach $11 an hour by 2017. With that wage, an increasing number of workers will have more money to spend on bills and family expenditures.
This state does pretty well by its residents. For starters, it had its first minimum wage increase in 2015 to get to $8.75 an hour. Then, in 2016, it raised it another dollar to $9.75. Plus, the state has a desirable cost of living. Then, there is the annual dividend residents get from an oil-wealth fund. Recent annual payments were up to $2,072.
Workers here got a raise in 2016 to $9.60 an hour. A law was enacted to gradually raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Many people here believe an increased minimum wage is good for both workers and business. Companies can attract more workers, and employees have more pocket change.
This state seems to be following the trend of many of its neighbors in the New England area. It wants to improve the quality of life for its workers. It is doing so by moving the minimum wage up from $9 an hour to $9.60 an hour in 2016. This means that workers across the state got an instant raise. The economy improves because those who make the lowest wages have more money to spend on basic goods and services. It may only be a matter of time before the minimum wage goes even higher.
Not content to be left behind in the minimum wage race, the Green Mountain State produced its second annual increase of the minimum wage in 2016. The plan is to get to $10.50 an hour by 2018. In addition, the state wants to improve both economic activity and security.
This state currently has a minimum wage of $9.50 an hour. It is also tied to the consumer price index. Seattle, on the other hand, wants to quicken the pace. It wants to eventually reach $15 an hour.
A neighbor to Washington state, Oregon recently released a new wage law that enables a 3-tiered system. Essentially, it has a date of 2022. By that year, workers in rural areas can expect to make $12.50. Workers in Portland can expect to make $14.75. While, workers in midsize areas will be getting $13.50 an hour.
States that increase their minimum wage attract workers from all over the world. In addition, it allows employees an improved standard of living.